Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2012) 11, 669 - 675

Research article
Acute Effects of Two Different Warm-Up Protocols on Flexibility and Lower Limb Explosive Performance in Male and Female High Level Athletes
Charilaos Tsolakis, Gregory C. Bogdanis 
Author Information
Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Greece.,

Gregory C. Bogdanis
✉ Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, 41 Ethnikis Antistasis Str, Daphne, 17237, Athens, Greece.
Email: gbogdanis@phed.uoa.gr
Publish Date
Received: 14-08-2012
Accepted: 05-09-2012
Published (online): 01-12-2012
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ABSTRACT

This study examined the effects of two different warm-up protocols on lower limb power and flexibility in high level athletes. Twenty international level fencers (10 males and 10 females) performed two warm-up protocols that included 5-min light jogging and either short (15s) or long (45s) static stretching exercises for each of the main leg muscle groups (quadriceps, hamstrings and triceps surae), followed by either 3 sets of 3 (short stretching treatment), or 3 sets of 5 tuck jumps (long stretching treatment), in a randomized crossover design with one week between treatments. Hip joint flexion was measured with a Lafayette goniometer before and after the 5-min warm-up, after stretching and 8 min after the tuck jumps, while counter movement jump (CMJ) performance was evaluated by an Ergojump contact platform, before and after the stretching treatment, as well as immediately after and 8 minutes after the tuck jumps. Three way ANOVA (condition, time, gender) revealed significant time (p < 0.001) and gender (p < 0.001) main effects for hip joint flexion, with no interaction between factors. Flexibility increased by 6. 8 ± 1.1% (p < 0.01) after warm-up and by another 5.8 ± 1.6% (p < 0.01) after stretching, while it remained increased 8 min after the tuck jumps. Women had greater ROM compared with men at all time points (125 ± 8° vs. 94 ± 4° p<0.01 at baseline), but the pattern of change in hip flexibility was not different between genders. CMJ performance was greater in men compared with women at all time points (38.2 ± 1.9 cm vs. 29.8 ± 1.2 cm p < 0.01 at baseline), but the percentage of change CMJ performance was not different between genders. CMJ performance remained unchanged throughout the short stretching protocol, while it decreased by 5.5 ± 0.9% (p < 0.01) after stretching in the long stretching protocol However, 8 min after the tuck jumps, CMJ performance was not different from the baseline value (p = 0.075). In conclusion, lower limb power may be decreased after long periods of stretching, but performance of explosive exercises may reverse this phenomenon.

Key words: Countermovement jump, stretching, post-activation potentiation, fencing


           Key Points
  • Stretching of the main leg muscle groups for 45 s results in a relatively large decrease (by 5.5%) in subsequent jumping performance
  • Stretching of the main leg muscle groups for only 15 s results in an increase in flexibility similar to that of the longer duration stretching (by 12.6%), with no change in subsequent jumping performance
  • Performance of a PAP exercise such as tuck jumps may reverse the negative effects of long duration stretching on leg muscle power. However, jumping performance is not increased above baseline
  • Speed/power athletes should be advised against using long duration stretching. The number of repetitions of a PAP exercise such as the tuck jumps, should be further examined in order to induce an increase in explosive performance during competition
 
 
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